Guide to Rafting in Croatia (Maps Included)

For those who want an active holiday, rafting in Croatia is one of the most exciting outdoors adventures for everyone from 7-77 years of age.

Lot of people like to include at least one of outdoor adventures on their vacation. If you are looking for an unforgettable adrenaline adventure, opt for rafting, full of alternating peaceful streams and rapids on one of Croatia’s rivers.

Rafting on the rivers of Croatia is a wonderful way to get in touched with the unspoiled Croatian nature. All the rivers are with typical karst landscape all along the way, adorned by green banks and deep canyons.

Rafting on rivers, has in the last few years become the favorite recreation of tourists and adrenaline adventures enthusiasts spending their vacations at the Adriatic coast. In between swimming and sunbathing, many travel agencies organize rafting adventure for its guests.

The grade of difficulty for most rivers is from 1 to 3 but on some rivers the difficulty rises from 4 to 5 on Dobra and Una rivers.

Rafting in Croatia Map

Croatia’s best rafting rivers

The river Cetina

It’s one of the most beautiful places in Central Dalmatia where you can experience the excitement of rafting. It is situated in the peaceful countryside of Dalmatinska Zagora (Dalmatian Hinterland) region and it i slowly passes through numerous canyons, spots and hills rising above it.

River comes out of 5 strong wells at 380 m above the sea, under two mountains, Dinara and Gnjat, few km northern from town Vrlika, from where it flows south-east through the fields of Sinj, town Trilj to Zadvarje, where it turns west to Omis where it joins the Adriatic Sea.

This river has found it’s way through fields and cliffs creating rapids, waterfalls, lakes surrounded by wild vegetation and canyons. The natural harmony in and around this river is still untouched.

During the summer season, in the lower course of Cetina river, rafting tours are taking place every day, twice a day for 3-4 hours. Rafting journey through the crystal-green waters of the Cetina usually ends with a barbecue lunch on the banks of the river.

All rafting tours include all the equipment you need, which includes paddle, helmet and buoyancy aid. For all participants a quick tutorial for basic rafting skills is also included.

All you need to bring with you is a swimming suite, some shoes suitable for water and dry clothes. If you want to take pictures, it’s recommendable a waterproof camera.

Rafting in Croatia on Zrmanja and Krupa River

If you are looking for adventure holidays within the Zadar surrounding area, Zrmanja is among the most beautiful rivers for rafting in Croatia and in Europe, with perfectly clear warm waters , spectacular canyon with magnificent waterfalls.

Located only 50 km from Zadar, Zrmanja river near Obrovac town, is often called hidden beauty due to its location and hard access. There are only two ways to get to know its hidden beauty – paddling in kayak, canoe or rafting on its upper flow or by the boat on its lower flow.

It is typical karst river with numerous waterfalls, cascades and rapids on its upper flow. From the last of the waterfalls , called Jankovica buk (buk means noise or roar), the river turns to be navigable for 17 km, all the way to its delta in Novigrad sea (see the map on the top of this page) , surrounded by steep cliffs, ancient ruins, and rare vegetation where you can take a boat excursions.

Krupa river

This river is one of the confluent of Zrmanja river. Along its short watercourse of some 17 km, Krupa forms 19 cascades. Most of these cascades are well-indented and among the most beautiful in Croatia regarding height and shape.

How to reach: from Zadar to Obrovac taking the turn towards Golubic and Kastel Zegarski. See the map ! Zrmanja river is one of the most interesting rivers for rafting in Croatia, while Krupa, Zrmanja’s tributary is more convenient for kayaking. More information can be found on Zadar’s Riva Rafting Center website.

Canyon of the Krupa river is just one of many beautiful canyons that can be found in this area. At the source you can found beautifully restored monastery and picnic area
while canyon begins a few kilometers from the source to the west. The most beautiful part of the canyon is the part where is Kudin bridge.

Una river rafting in Croatia

Una River is the perfect place for and exciting day adventure. This river is a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia. No previous rafting experience is needed. Even children from 7 years of age, accompanied by parents, can participate.

The entire course of the river is divided in three sections, depending of the rate o difficulty. Rafting stage Strbacki Buk to Lohovo (15 Km long) is the most interesting and attractive part of the Una River (the whole section passes through Una National Park). Therefore more adrenaline for the more demanding rafters. (Not available for children under 12 years).

Rafting section Costello to (Luke) Grmusa (13 Km long) is also interesting and attractive part of the Una river, suitable for beginners and those who are trying rafting in Croatia for the first time.

The third section Costello – Bosanska Krupa is the longest (24 Km) and according to the difficulty is between the first two sections. The rafting duration is approximately 5 hours and depends on the water level.

The rafting season on Una river is usually from May to September.

Rafting in Croatia – Four Karlovac rivers

Traveling from Zagreb towards the sea, whether you are heading to Dalmatia region (Split and Zadar) or Rijeka (Kvarner district) you will pass near Karlovac town, the meeting point of four rivers.

The longest one, the Kupa River, springs in Risnjk National Park, between forested hills and luxuriant valleys and in Karlovac with its tributaries Korana, Mreznica and Dobra flowing together to Sisak where Kupa emerges in the Sava River (the biggest river in Croatia).

Kupa river has enough water for rafting only during the spring time when snow melts and after abundant rains. This river is very particular and mysterious. The biggest mystery is why the river that springs only 30 km from the Adriatic See flows in completely opposite direction (to the inland), as no other river in the world does.

Korana River springs from the Plitvice Lakes. Canyon of the river hides many cascades, and the most beautiful ones are in the upper flow of the river. The example of extreme whitewater rafting in Croatia is without a doubt on this river.

During springtime when the snow melts this river becomes fantastic grade 3 to 5 white water section with thundering waterfalls that makes this one of the best natural white water slalom courses in Europe.

For the true adventurers, looking for additional adrenaline, the most extreme section ‘Rastoke’, each year hosts the Euro Cup race ‘Rastraft’. Rastraft is competition where professional rafters from ten countries contest for the title of the best.

The fourth river is Dobra (means ‘good’), a dam controlled, a safe river with some wild grade IV and V rapids and big waves. It’s partly with underground current but after the hydro power plant HE Gojak, river water becomes wild and exciting.

If you want to know what is rafting really about, come on Dobra river in April, when it is filled with abundant rains, and you will experience the wildest rafting in Croatia.

Don’t be fooled by its name Dobra, as it offers top-class rafting conditions (thanks to the presence of dams and accumulation lakes). This conditions assure the sufficient flow of water in the Dobra River throughout the year.

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